Bold action: UN issues strongly worded statement as Assad steamrolls Hama

posted at 10:05 pm on August 3, 2011 by Allahpundit

“Assad steamrolls Hama.” An evergreen headline, no? We’ve held off on posting about Syria all day, not because it’s not important but because, after NATO’s clusterfark in Libya, there’s little to say. No one’s going to intervene this time; if the west couldn’t roll a two-bit tent-dweller in Tripoli in four months, we’re not going to dislodge Assad. If the Libyan opposition, per its Islamist strain, is too dicey to align with comfortably, the same is at least as true for Syrian protesters. And if the Egyptian revolution has really come to this, then why would anyone rush to replace Assad with a new monster?

This is happening, though, and has been happening for days, and is likely to ramp up further as Arab audiences get distracted by Mubarak’s trial in Egypt. A neat irony, that: One dictator’s ouster provides cover for another to crush the opposition. Here’s the inevitable “strongly worded” statement from the UN:

The Security Council today condemned the widespread violation of human rights in Syria and the use of force against civilians by the country’s security forces, calling for an end to the violence and urging all sides to act with restraint and refrain from reprisals, including attacks against State institutions…

“Those responsible for the violence should be held accountable,” the Council said in a presidential statement read by Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri of India, which holds the Council’s rotating presidency this month…

It stressed that “the only solution to the current crisis in Syria is through an inclusive and Syrian-led political process, with the aim of effectively addressing the legitimate aspirations of and concerns of the population which will allow the full exercise of fundamental freedoms for its entire population, including that of expression and peaceful assembly.”

How strongly worded is that? Not too strongly:

[T]he statement sends other signals as well. It explicitly warns against attacks on government institutions. On the view of the Security Council, a full-scale revolt by the Syrian people against the government–a regime that has been killing protesters for weeks–is not justified. The Council statement also insists that the “only solution to the current crisis in Syria is through an inclusive and Syrian-led political process.” The meaning is clear: outside intervention is not a solution.

The Council is willing to concede that the Assad government has gone too far. But it’s not willing to acknowledge the right of Syrians to forcefully evict their repressive rulers and it does not accept that outsiders have the right to assist them in doing so.

I.e. they recommend no violence from either side. Where that leaves us, given the facts on the ground and the alleged involvement of regime tanks, paratroopers, and paramilitary units in Hama, is precisely nowhere.

The toppling of Assad would be useful to the west not only in ending the killing (temporarily, at least) but in potentially peeling Syria away from Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon. A Sunni leadership might reorient towards the U.S. to curb Iran’s Shiite influence — or, of course, it might not. I remember reading a few months ago when the protests first got going how Israel, despite its mutual animosity with Syria, was in no rush to see Assad go given the very cold peace that’s prevailed between the two countries since he took power. Who knows what will follow him. The first rule of the Middle East: If you think things can’t get any worse, just wait a bit.

Two videos here, the first allegedly taken during the military operation in Hama and the second, more controversial, purporting to show members of the Muslim Brotherhood tossing the bodies of dead Syrian soldiers off the town’s bridge. It’s graphic, so please observe your strong content warning. Syrian protesters adamantly deny that the second clip is what it claims to be; Assad’s loyalists have apparently been circulating it to delegitimize the demonstrators. Foreign Policy has a thoughtful post about it questioning the claims. Could be either side, really, which partly explains why the west is staying far away from this.

If you want to know how interested in the crackdown the U.S. government is, this about sums it up.

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It cowered China. It cowered North Korea. What isn’t to trust?

Limerick on August 3, 2011 at 10:08 PM

That’ll get his attention!

Kini on August 3, 2011 at 10:13 PM

The UN has always reminded of the joke about British Bobbies that don’t carry guns.

Stop! or I’ll yell Stop! again.

Russ86 on August 3, 2011 at 10:14 PM

If you want to know how interested in this the U.S. government is, this about sums it up.

That’s crazy. The only way to get less people at a gathering is for Biden to go speak somewhere.

Kataklysmic on August 3, 2011 at 10:15 PM

So this is what Al Gore meant by having an Arab Spring in America?

Kini on August 3, 2011 at 10:19 PM

Did they use ArialBOLD?!?!?

SouthernGent on August 3, 2011 at 10:20 PM

If it`s a day ending in the letter Y……. You get Mid-east violence and useless U.N. paper.

ThePrez on August 3, 2011 at 10:20 PM

The toppling of Assad would be useful to the west not only in ending the killing (temporarily, at least) but in potentially peeling Syria away from Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon

Well if it would be useful to the US and might hurt Iran, why on earth would you expect Obama or the UN, who both hate this country, to do something about Assad?

bluemarlin on August 3, 2011 at 10:21 PM

So nice to see the peaceful ministration of Islam.

(/)

tinkerthinker on August 3, 2011 at 10:21 PM

Get. Out. Now.

BallisticBob on August 3, 2011 at 10:28 PM

Quick! Send Pelosi or Kerry over to Syria. They know how to “negotiate” with Assad.

onlineanalyst on August 3, 2011 at 10:30 PM

Get. Out. Now.

Get. Out. Of. What?

YYZ on August 3, 2011 at 10:32 PM

11 comments or bust.
I am stealing this cool artwork above the videos.
Wold look good around the dining room.

Electrongod on August 3, 2011 at 10:32 PM

Wold = wood…or t would?
Dang!

Electrongod on August 3, 2011 at 10:33 PM

Wag the dog time?

golfmann on August 3, 2011 at 10:33 PM

If we promised them some Chevy Volts maybe he will stop.

bluemarlin on August 3, 2011 at 10:34 PM

after NATO’s clusterfark in Libya

Added to the far more lengthy and costly in Blood and Treasure mega clusterfarks in Afghanistan and Iraq. Get out and stay out and let the whole freakin Muslim world burn down.

Lon Chaney on August 3, 2011 at 10:42 PM

I.e. they recommend no violence from either side. Where that leaves us, given the facts on the ground and the alleged involvement of regime tanks, paratroopers, and paramilitary units in Hama, is precisely nowhere.

Where that leaves the protesters is what is known as the ‘Deepak Chopra solution’, which is to ‘die’.

slickwillie2001 on August 3, 2011 at 11:01 PM

The Jimmah Carter Foreign Policy as adopted by the Obama Administration. Any chance at peace in the ME has been set back 50 years.

BKeyser on August 3, 2011 at 11:12 PM

Eh, kind of hard for me to care. If your government is a ruthless dictatorship its because you allowed it to become one and its your duty to overthrow it if that is what you want. Until I see a country in the middle east truly overthrow their crap government and institute some sort of fair democracy, I say keep the US out of foreign entanglements. Let them all kill each other.

thphilli on August 3, 2011 at 11:17 PM

Waiting for Retief……..

any ol’pharts out there?

Fighton03 on August 3, 2011 at 11:23 PM

Whew…..
I thought for sure that second video was going to be a bunch of terrorist Tea Partiers throwing bodies off a bridge.

What a relief it was nothing more than some “reformers”…..

Nothing to see here…..
………let’s get back to addressing the real enemy…
………….American terrorist who want a balanced budget and real spending cuts.

Baxter Greene on August 3, 2011 at 11:25 PM

Just another result of all that there “Smart Diplomacy”.

GarandFan on August 3, 2011 at 11:34 PM

thphilli on August 3, 2011 at 11:17 PM

Most days I agree. To a great extent, the people of a nation are responsible for the government they have, and to go even further, they are responsible for the actions of that government even if it’s a dictatorship.

slickwillie2001 on August 3, 2011 at 11:36 PM

I hope the GOP nominee will hang Libya around the president’s neck in a debate (among other millstones). Why Libya? Why not Iran, Syria. or one of the others? If Libya, why so late? Why isn’t Libya considered by the president to be a war? I’d love to see the ONE glare at his opponent as he’s peppered with questions such as these.

Not to mention the economy, and a host of other issues.

p40tiger on August 3, 2011 at 11:38 PM

He shall enter a man of peace but leave the world at war.

Grunt on August 3, 2011 at 11:40 PM

p40tiger on August 3, 2011 at 11:38 PM

Little Bammie deserves to be ripped a new one over his treatment of Mubarak and Egypt as well. It’s a sad day when the Saudi Arabian royals have to lecture the President of the USA on how to do diplomacy.

slickwillie2001 on August 3, 2011 at 11:51 PM

A Sunni leadership might reorient towards the U.S. to curb Iran’s Shiite influence — or, of course, it might not.

Sure, with Americas Muslim nutsack licking ability, you will always find Muslims willing to use you. Especially the suave Sunnis who are somehow connected to the beloved Saudis. Find them, find your new Muslim friends and try to rent them for awhile. I hear they can’t resist higher pay and better equipment. And that stuff is inexhaustible.

BL@KBIRD on August 3, 2011 at 11:55 PM

I still remember how they made fun of the U.N. delegates in the original Batman movie back in the ’60s…LOL…and the U.N. had only been around 20 years at that point in time.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 4, 2011 at 12:34 AM

How is this not Obama’s fault?

Isn’t this a direct result of his trip to the ME and his speechifying that was obviously taken to heart by some of the young socialistic idealists?

And BTW didn’t Obama get this tripe from the NYT and Harvard?

hmmmm

Lonetown on August 4, 2011 at 4:06 AM

It is sad that the Rights of Man and the Enlightenment of Western Civilization has not taken root in the Middle East. They are still living in the 16th century by a group of thugs and reading from a book that promotes it.

SC.Charlie on August 4, 2011 at 6:09 AM

Yes, it is called ‘Hama Rules’ and the Assad family does know how to practice them. And the UN and entire political structure that was supposed to prevent such things is not only a sham, but worse than a sham as it can never detract from these rulers when they aren’t committing wholesale slaughter of their own people and only, instead, commit the retail version. Instead they go after States that do hold themselves accountable as they are easier to castigate and intimidate and demonize. That is what the international and globalist viewpoint gets you: demonization of good people and silence on the evil ones save when the blood runs in the streets.

ajacksonian on August 4, 2011 at 6:29 AM

The UN cared more about the death penalty that 1 Mexican got in Texas than they care about all of these people getting slaughtered. They are paper tigers.

tinkerthinker on August 4, 2011 at 8:57 AM

I think this reveals how hollow the R2P doctrine is. But is anyone going to ask Samantha Powers about the implications.

And Libya is an illegal war, whatever standards you apply to the US. The UNSCR (and Arab League resolution) only permit no-fly zone enforcement, which has been way exceeded, and Congress has never even been asked for an AUMF, nor has it passed one even implicitly.

LarryD on August 4, 2011 at 9:21 AM

Assad is not really quelling a rebellion, he’s trying to find his chin.

PJ Emeritus on August 4, 2011 at 9:36 AM

The UN cared more about the death penalty that 1 Mexican got in Texas than they care about all of these people getting slaughtered. They are paper tigers. – tinkerthinker on August 4, 2011 at 8:57 AM

It is called America bashing. It has been in fashion for far too long at the UN and elsewhere.

SC.Charlie on August 4, 2011 at 1:46 PM